Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A GAY CLICHÉ?

I’d like to think I’m a unique individual...“special” as my mother used to say.  (She always gritted her teeth when she said it, but I assumed that had something to do with a lactose intolerance.  That kind of thing wasn’t widely recognized way back then.)  Sometimes, however, I get the feeling my life has been a gay cliché.

Yeah, I felt a special affinity to Dorothy and Toto (even if I had to root for them through a double-hand screen when those flying monkeys appeared).  I loved how Maria made play clothes from drapes and mastered marionettes.  I thought Ken was a rather comely doll.  (G.I. Joe’s duds? They’re called fatigues because they’re tired.)  I had Donna Summer posters hanging in my bedroom in high school.  When I started university, I bailed halfway through fraternity rush week so I could get in line for Barry Manilow tickets.  (My first concert ever was Air Supply.)  I adored Julie on “The Love Boat”, wavered each week on my favorite Golden Girl and turned every Olivia Newton-John single into a duet.  (I’ve said too much.)  All this before I ever started mixing with the boys of West Hollywood.

All my childhood and adolescent likes seemed to scream that I was a Gay in the Making.  It’s hard for me to think of many non-gay early interests.  I liked hockey, but I was lousy at it.  I didn’t want to body check anyone and the helmet messed up my hair.  (I did think the cards made nice collectibles.  And my hero, Ken Dryden, was both smart (a lawyer!) and clean-cut.  How nice!)  Anything butch?  Tonka trucks?  No.  I preferred Lite-Brite and Doodle Art.  I did play with Lego—mostly for the nifty window and door pieces—but I spent more time drawing gardens and placing my animal figurines from Red Rose Tea around the tin foil pond.

When I look back, I am always checking myself.  Was everything a gaydar indicator?  Surely other nascent gays weren’t huddled by their TVs to catch a wheelchair-bound Raymond Burr in the syndicated run of “Ironside”.  Perhaps I did have some uniqueness at nine after all.

2 comments:

anziulewicz said...

Myself, I'm certainly no gym bunny, I gravitate more toward the "bears" than anything else, I do NOT have a flair for clothing and interior design, and yards of chiffon do NOT go rolling out of my mouth every time I open it. I wouldn't set off ANYONE'S "gaydar."

But as I've considered my life in retrospect, I know that I couldn't have ever been anything BUT Gay. I adored Astroboy; who wouldn't, with him wearing those cute black briefs and little else? "The Wizard of Oz" is STILL one of my favorite movies. I had a schoolboy crush on my 6th grade teacher, who looked rather a lot like Barney Rubble. I've had a weakness for bearded men for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, YES, I thought an Easy-Bake Oven would be kinda cool to have. And I recently even dredged up an very old memory of going though my grandma's old jewelry box, and even putting on some of the clip-on earrings (which HURT!).

We ARE who we ARE.

Rural Gay said...

Thanks for sharing your own childhood likes. Did you hear the news this week that they are coming up with a more manly Easy-Bake Oven? I think it's going to be made in silver, black and blue. Now every child will want to cook by lightbulb!

I had to Google Astro Boy. Nifty hair thing going on there.

Yes, we are who we are. I'm just intrigued by the fact that so many gays like me can be so easily typecast. Hated throwing the football, still don't own anything by Black and Decker and clearly preferred ABBA to AC/DC. It's all good.